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Youth Rates Advice a Step Towards their Abolition

Media Release - NZCTU
May 4 2006

Legal Advice re: Youth Rates a Significant Step Towards their Abolition says CTU

"Legal advice to the Attorney General that youth rates are illegal is a significant step in our campaign to eliminate this form of discrimination against young workers," Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

Green MP Sue Bradford today revealed that the Attorney General has received advice from the Ministry of Justice and Crown Law (*) that the practise of youth rates is ultra vires with the Bill of Rights Act.

"Unions have long been saying that paying 16 and 17 year olds youth rates is discriminatory and unfair, and have been campaigning this year in support of Sue Bradford's Private Members Bill to abolish them," said Ross Wilson.

"That the government's own legal advisors are now saying that the practise is illegal is a significant step forward in the campaign to get rid of youth rates," said Ross Wilson.

"What possible justifications can there now be for paying 16 and 17 year olds less than adults when they're doing the same work?" said Ross Wilson.

"The select committee is due to consider evidence on Sue Bradford's youth rates bill shortly. The CTU has put in a comprehensive submission on why youth rates should be abolished, and will look forward to presenting to the committee with this new advice in hand."

* http://www.justice.govt.nz/bill-of-rights/date-list-2006.html, then select "Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill"


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